Council President Tim Burgess,
Seattle City Council Members
City of Seattle
600 Fourth Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
RE: Restore Sawant & Licata Rent Control Resolution Language
Dear Council President Burgess, and Seattle City Council,
I am pleased that once again Council President Tim Burgess has been able to change his position on a critical progressive issue, this time lifting the ban on rent control, after years of inaction with our city’s skyrocketing rents.
This is not the first time Mr. Burgess has changed his position just this year to appear more progressive; he switched his position to support campaign finance reform, reversed his vote on a resolution opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership, he finally voted to establish homeless encampments, stated support to re-establish the Employee Hours Tax after he led the effort to repeal it, and more. After eight years in office Seattle is finally getting the progressive voice from Mr. Burgess for which they have been waiting.
However, this move is clearly designed to weaken the language of the Resolution as well as the grassroots movement that has been organizing to support it. If Mr. Burgess is to demonstrate this is not a move to pander during an election year, he must reinstate all of the language from Council Member’s Licata and Sawant’s original resolution. Most disturbing is the decision to strip out critical anti-discrimination and fair housing language that gave the resolution any real meaning. Seattle is suffering from a crippling legacy of residential segregation that is now being exacerbated by increasing rents that disproportionately push people of color out of the city. Just last year the Seattle Office of Civil Rights found that over half of the landlords they tested discriminated based on race. Mr. Burgess stripped out all references and recitals regarding fair housing which is a slap to the face of people of color targeted by discrimination and skyrocketing rents.
I call on Council President Tim Burgess to reinstate all of the original language as proposed in Council Member Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata’s version of this resolution to lift the ban on rent regulation.
Candidate for Seattle City Council Position 8